Knew he will make it big: Irfan Pathan on Rasikh Salam

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Rasikh Salam Dar hails from a state which is not very famous for producing top-class cricketers. But then again hard-work overcomes every obstacle and perhaps the youngster from Jammu & Kashmir has realised it at a very young age. Before he registered his name for the recently-concluded IPL auction, he must have been aware that only two cricketers – Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar have earned contracts.

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Rasool was the first cricketer from the state to feature in IPL when he was signed by the now-disbanded Pune Warriors. Later, he plied his trade for Sunrises Hyderabad but did not find any takers at the previous auction. On the other hand, Manzoor was signed up by Kings XI Punjab in the last auction.
The odds were firmly stacked against Rasikh. But as they say ‘where there is a will, there is a way’, he kept on believing in him and has now become the youngest player from his state to bag an IPL deal. He has been signed by three-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

Even before the auction, there was a talk that Mumbai would sign the 17-year-old having called him for the trials soon after the conclusion of Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Rashikh’s journey on the big stage started when he was shortlisted for the talent hunt trial under India allrounder Irfan Pathan. Pathan, who is plying his trade for Jammu & Kashmir this year, was immediately impressed with Rasikh. Consequently, the youngster was fast-tracked into the senior state team and played in Vijay Hazare Trophy. He also recently took six-wicket haul for the state in Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy.

Pathan, meanwhile, is mighty impressed with Rasikh and has predicted a very bright future for the teenager. The out-of-favour India allrounder took to Twitter to congratulate Rasikh. He also said that Mumbai signing Rasikh is at the top of his list of rookies getting IPL deals, writing:

“I have seen so many players grow with great satisfaction bt seeing this rookie #rashiksalamdar get picked ⁦by ⁦@mipaltan⁩ is toping my list.When I saw him 1st in d district selection in Kashmir I knew he will make it big.Congratulations young man u have a long way 2go”